Lifestyle | A Peek Into My UK Travel Bucket List

If you've had a peek at my 101 in 1001 you'll know that one of the things I'm eager to do is explore more of good ol' Great Britain. There's so many beautiful places hidden within this little island that I'm eager to explore and document. And whether it be by rail, road or even air, I'm determined to tick as many of them off as I can over the next year.

 
Cambridge
This beautiful university city (or is it a town? I'm never too sure) is less than an hour away from where I lay my hat but is somewhere that whilst I've ventured to a handful of times over the years, I've never truly explored. Growing up, people in my area headed to Cambridge in search for better shopping opportunities than Peterborough provides, but I'm craving a visit to admire the history and  culture on offer. I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at a spot of punting either.
 
Belfast
Next on my list is the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. I've never ventured across the Irish Sea but I'd love to make the journey and experience the Irish charm. I'm also rather desperate to visit Belfast for its connection to the Titanic. Belfast was the place where the great ship was built and is now home to the world's biggest Titanic museum. As a self-confessed history geek this sounds truly brilliant.

Giant's Causeway
Whilst we're discussing the beauty of northern Ireland, I'd also love to visit Giant's Causeway. If you're unaware, Giant's Causeway is a unique rock formation that juts out into the sea and holds status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It looks like a truly incredible and beautiful sight that I'd love the chance to experience (and of course photograph).
 
Bath
A city defined by its amazing history and architecture. Bath is of course home to its fine Roman baths, a sight I've always wanted to see. Aside from the baths, the whole city looks beautiful; totally photo worthy. I see Bath as the epitome of a traditional English town and I'd love to be able to spend a whole weekend basking in its beauty

Isle of Wight
England's island destination. I'm all about those traditional seaside settings so from what I've heard about the Isle of Wight I'm sure it'll definitely tickle my pickle. The island boasts an abundance of scenic views, quaint little villages and towns and miles of costal footpaths. It can also provide many an opportunity to satisfy my scone addiction; what more can you ask for?

Can you recommend any UK locations that might take my fancy?

Books | Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Long-term readers of my ramblings will know that I'm a sucker for a good YA (young adult) novel and my latest read definitely fits right into that genre: 'Sometimes It Happens' by Lauren Barnholdt. I should also note that quick-read books (i.e. books that I find myself flying through and finishing in a mere handful of sittings) hold a special place in my heart, which partially explains my love affair with this particular novel.


Lauren Barnholdt takes authorship for this novel and this is another book that confirms my ever-growing love for her literary works. I adored her novels Two-Way Street and One Night That Changes Everything and I'm hoping to get my hands on a fair few more of her titles in the coming weeks.

'Sometimes It Happens' follows a single summer in the life of Hannah and is centred around (as the title suggests) the repercussions and regrets of a single night. To lay it out simply; Hannah has a rather awful breakup and, just when she needs her the most, her best friend Ava runs off to spend the whole summer working at a holiday camp. In her pit of despair Hannah ends up running for comfort into the arms of Noah, Ava's boyfriend. Although they have a relatively platonic relationship throughout the vast majority of the novel (which runs the course of their summer break and into the start of the new school year), one night one thing leads to another and everything changes.As someone whose current relationship did indeed begin as a friendship and evolve, this concept was something that I could definitely relate to on a strong level; minus the cheating element of the novel of course as we were both indeed single, don't you worry.

Typically a book that has cheating at the heart of its plot would leave me and my morals running for the hills, but for some reason this story got me hooked. I do believe it has something to do with Barnholdt's impeccable characterisation skills, presenting every single character with a layer of depth that you don't often come across within YA literature. I grew very quickly to despise the character of Ava, a character who quite clearly held the belief that the entire world revolved around her. I also loved Hannah's narration of the events as she was incredibly honest about the reality of the situation, there was no sugar-coating to make herself look or feel better.

I just adore the structure of this book. It's told in alternating timelines: one depicting the events of the first day of Hannah's senior year, and one featuring flashbacks to the summer just gone. With each flashback Barnholdt reveals more and more of the secrets of the summer, providing an explanation for the unravelling events of the first day of school. Using such a structural technique adds such a wonderful element of suspense to the tale and leaves you practically begging Barnholdt to let you know more, which definitely contributes to this novel's status as a particularly quick-read; you're bound to read it ever so quickly if you simply can't put it down.

Overall Lauren Barnholdt has written a wonderfully gripping, humorous tale that would be just perfect if you're after a simple, easy read covering those typically-teenage topics such as sex, relationships, heart break and friendships. 

Have you been getting your nose into any good titles lately?
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